Before I was married, sometimes I liked to socialize without drinking. During dinner with friends I might choose to drink Coke Zero or even water if I didn’t feel like having a beer. I’ll be honest, recovering from just a couple drinks is a lot tougher than it used to be and I prefer to be at least vaguely coherent at work. But, now that I’m married and rapidly approaching 30, not drinking is not an option. Drinking (and consuming massive amounts of mercury-laden raw fish) is one of the few things that will stave off the question, “Are you pregnant?!” Heremywholething, you should never ask that question. Ever. Not to anyone. I don’t care your relationship, I don’t care if her belly button has popped. Don’t.Ask. If she wants you to know, she will tell you. There are only three ways asking can go and none of them turn out well for the potential mommy or you. Let’s review, shall we?
Scenario 1: She is Not Pregnant and They are NOT Trying
Why is this not acceptable once you get married? I recently attended a wedding and “Hurry up and have a baby” was a sentiment that was repeated several times throughout the speeches. The couple was married for literally one hour and the pressure had already started. Granted, I have no idea if they want to start the baby making right away, but what if they don’t? I know there is never a perfect time to have a baby. One will always wish the situation was just a little bit better — more money, better insurance, a bigger house — but these things are up for the couple to decide, not you. Asking them if they’re pregnant and then refusing to accept that maybe *gasp* they don’t want kids or that they are putting it off until they can improve their situation is selfish and rude. If you ask once and this is their answer, you are not allowed to ever ask again and you are definitely prohibited from making a snarky remark about how she is probably just saying that to get people to stop asking. And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t try to talk them out of their decision. More people should put this much thought into having babies before popping them out without any long-term plan. Offering a nice, “Well, if you ever decide to start a family you and XX will be great parents,” is the only graceful way out of this.
Scenario 2: Yes, She is Pregnant
Okay, let’s say the woman you’re asking is in fact pregnant. If she wanted you to know, you would know. You wouldn’t have to ask. Generally, mothers-to-be are really excited about the fetus that is growing in their bellies and are happy to share the news with those who are even remotely close to them. If you are her friend, and you don’t know, there is probably a reason for that. Most likely it is because it is too early in the pregnancy and she doesn’t want to have to worry about miscarrying and then having to go back and tell everyone she is no longer pregnant. She would prefer to wait until things are a little more stable. Understandable. Let her announce in her own time. The other reason she’s not telling is could be that you may not be as close of friends as you think and she just doesn’t want to tell you because you’re a judger, or a bitch, or will make it about you, whatever! Her uterus, her prerogative. Let her be. I’m sure she will post a 4-D (How can it be 4-D? What is the fourth D? Can you smell it?) sonogram picture on Facebook soon enough.
Scenario 3: She is Not Pregnant and They ARE Trying
This special scenario is saved for last because it is THE reason to not ask a woman if she’s pregnant. The other two can be laughed off or deflected tactfully, this one is just awful. Let’s say, hypothetically, that a couple IS in fact trying (I really hate that term “trying”) to get pregnant. Hypothetically, it is taking a little longer for this couple than they had hoped. For argument’s sake, why don’t we pretend that at one point she was in fact pregnant and now she is not (refer to scenario #2). This hypothetical woman is probably so excited to see her husband hold their future baby and be a dad that she daydreams about it. Pretend that this woman, the make-believe one who you are interrogating (because that’s what it will feel like), recently heard her husband say how lucky his sister and brother-in-law were for getting pregnant so quickly and how lucky the brother-in-law was for having two mini-mes. Ugh. Let’s pretend that this woman, who a few years ago didn’t even want kids, is terrified by the thought of not being able to have one. If this hypothetical, make-believe, pretend woman existed, it would probably feel like absolute shit when she had to reply, “No” to THE question. Is your curiosity about why she isn’t drinking worth it? I would hope not.
So, when I am out with friends, I make sure to grab a beer because drinking when I don’t want to is easier than enduring another raised eyebrow or “knowing” smile. It’s easier than someone silently mouthing “Are you?” from across the table. Drinking a few cocktails that are sure to make me a little groggy when my morning alarm goes off, is a much more enjoyable option than getting text messages inquiring about my lady parts from the person sitting in the booth with me.
So, for my liver’s sake, please just wait until I tell you that my womb is occupied and keep the questions to yourself.